Wednesday’s riot in the U.S. Capitol resulted in the deaths of four people (three from medical emergencies, and the shooting of Ashli Babbitt by Capitol Police as she tried to crawl through a window), injuries to more than 60 police officers, and the arrest (so far) of more than 60 individuals. While the incursion into the House and Senate chambers delayed the certification of the Electoral College vote by several hours, it ultimately didn’t prevent Joe Biden from being declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election, and with Democrats now holding 50 seats in the Senate as well as a slim majority in the U.S. House, a lot of us are wondering where we go from here; as a country, as conservatives, and as Second Amendment activists.
On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, Townhall.com’s Kurt Schlichter and the Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb join me with their answers to that big question.
Both men agree that Wednesday was not the starting point of a revolution; the political process, no matter how broken it might be, is still the best opportunity to keep ahold of the rights we have and claw back those that we’ve lost. As Alan Gottlieb pointed out, while Republicans have lost the presidency and the Senate, the GOP and pro-2A candidates actually made gains in many states across the country. As a result, Gottlieb thinks that we’ll see progress in 2021 in places like Montana, New Hampshire, Texas, and Oklahoma when it comes to strengthening the protections of our right to keep and bear arms.
Gottlieb did note, however, that gun control activists are going to be equally as busy trying to restrict our rights in deep-blue legislatures in states like California, New York, and New Jersey, and he believes that groups like Everytown for Gun Safety and Brady will be emboldened to use the violence at the Capitol as one of their go-to arguments in favor of restricting the rights of Americans.
Kurt Schlichter agrees that our job is going to be harder because of those who stormed the Capitol, but, like Gottlieb, he believes that it would be a huge mistake on the part of the political class to use Wednesday’s violence to dismiss the concerns of 74-million Americans who cast a vote for Donald Trump on November 3rd. Those concerns include election fraud in many cases, but that’s not the only reason why so many of us are frustrated. We’re tired of the double standards that exist throughout our society when it comes to the Left and the Right.
— I,Hypocrite (@lporiginalg) January 7, 2021
You can’t govern a country with two sets of rules. Riots are bad, whether it’s the Right or the Left leading them, yet there are a lot of people on the Left who think that the guy charged with bringing Molotov cocktails to the Capitol should be punished to the fullest extent of the law but the attorneys who used a Molotov cocktail to set fire to an NYPD police car should get a break because they were just fighting for justice. That’s a problem.
It’s not the only problem, though. We’ve got folks on the Right who were rightfully ticked off at the riots in American cities throughout the summer but who are now looking for ways to downplay or dismiss the violence at the Capitol on Wednesday; from suggesting that Antifa was actually responsible for the violence to focusing almost exclusively on how the Left responded to the riots earlier this year.
Both sides would rather explain away bad behavior by members of their tribe than simply agree that riots are bad (which, by the way, is why we’ve generally tried throughout our nation’s history to keep them to a minimum). Some of that is just human nature, but it sure feels like it’s gotten worse with the rise of social media and our ability to insulate ourselves from differing opinions.
We’re never gonna have a perfect society, but both Gottlieb and Schlichter believe that we don’t have to keep going down the highway to hell that we’re currently traveling. Gottlieb expressed confidence that the Supreme Court will weigh in on one or more Second Amendment cases this year, buttressing our right to keep and bear arms within the judicial canon. Schlichter, meanwhile, says that he expects short term chaos but he’s optimistic about the long term. As he writes in his latest column, “there’s no locking us into this forever,” and the status quo of our political system will continue to be challenged by those Americans who are demanding better.